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20130117
20130125
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with 64 votes. we passed the hurricane sandy emergency relief bill also in bipartisan fashion, with 62 votes. we had open debate, we had discussions, we had amendments, and we passed legislation. particularly we passed by a powerful bipartisan vote of 89-8, a bill that avoided tax increases for 99% of americans and extended emergency unemployment benefits for another year and protected us from the fiscal cliff. when it comes to legislating, the senate actually has a pretty strong bipartisan record. how did those senate bills do on the house side? well, the house couldn't pass its own highway bill. congress has been doing highway bills since the eisenhower years. this isn't rocket science. the house couldn't do one. the best the house of representatives could do was to pass a short-term extension that allowed some of their members to get to conference on the senate bill. but they took no bill into conference because they couldn't pass one. even then they delayed the conference negotiations and they cost the united states of america an entire summer construction season for highway constr
of drought which people don't -- people underestimate droughts. drought probably cost more than sandy will in the long run because of the public sector. fewer games, and sandy is like, was a hurricane and then just whatever you want to call after that, that's a big debate. but we're talking about manhattan, want you to think about this. people are talking at sea level rise in inches, maybe a foot over decades. sandy produced storm surge of three to four meters, or over 12 feet, in one of the most densely populated areas in the united states. and everybody says, i didn't think this could happen. i'm like, well, i've got pictures in the '30s when they were flooding the subways back then. it just doesn't happen very frequently. we had -- all of their imaging equipment in the basement. it makes sense when you don't deal with storms every year, it's much easier to shield, it's isolated, and it's a great space putting that type of equipment. now if you're getting hurricanes every five or six years you wouldn't have built there. if you hadn't had a storm since the series of any magnitude, ma
try to spend their money in a wiser, built-to-last kind of way. that's what the sandy supplemental allows. it also allows the state to draw down a portion of its hazard mitigation funding from fema in order to leverage mitigation opportunities earlier in the construction process. in the old days, it would take 18-36 months for funding to become available in some instances to rebuild a school. that's too long. can you imagine a community going three years, you know, without even getting their school started? i mean, i realize that sometimes it takes a long time to build things, but you don't want to just wait three years before you start. so the way that we do it now without spending any more money, it's just allowing them to -- the federal government to push out some of the front money to the locals, they can then get started and of course they will reimburse the federal government. so that is a very smart reform that's in there. in addition, we also provide grants on the basis of a reliable fixed estimate for expedited removal of storm debris. this approach will be faster, cheaper
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